aldersprig: (Beryl)
[personal profile] aldersprig
This comes after King(maker) Cake, King for a Day, After the Kinging, Stone: Aftermath, and Stone: After some Aftermath
Beryl and Stone both had a hand on the necklace that was their ancestor (or at least distant relative; neither had bothered to look up where he stood on the family tree, in part because that would require talking to the relatives who kept the family tree, and that might lead to some awkward explanations nobody wanted to get into).

::Very good. Now. Where to start?::

“What happens when you go against the will of the family?” Stone was whispering. His door was half-open, half-closed, because he and Beryl both thought this was more than a little weird and wanted to be able to shout for help if they had to.

::And it’s a good question, even if it’s an awkward question. So. Who’s the will of the family?::

Neither of them answered. In their heads, the necklace chuckled.

::Ah. I see you’ve both learned to spot an obvious trap before it bites you. You’re right, of course. It’s not the Aunt, it’s not the grandmothers, it’s not the young mothers and it’s certainly not the husbands and sons. But yet… it is.::

Stone looked at Beryl; she looked back and shrugged.

::Aw, you’ve learned too well. How am I supposed to have fun?:: the necklace sulked. ::All right, all right. The family will, like the family power, is a gestalt thing. But the will, unlike the power, is mob rule. It moves this way and that way all over the place, depending on the climate. So the problem is: what the family will is can change from day to day, much less from year to year. Like young Stone here.::

“Excuse me?” There were too many things that could mean, and Stone didn’t like most of them.

::The family was fine ignoring you, weren’t they? Nobody was going to be stupid enough to train you. Nobody was going to give you any more power - or, should I say, give you access to your own power. Given time, the family gestalt would soak up most of it, leaving you with enough to light a fire without a match or know when it was going to rain, probably. Petty stuff, the stuff any street-corner magician can do. That’s what the family does, you know. It collects power that’s not being used.::

“Wait, what?” Beryl stared at the necklace as if she could see if it was lying or not. Stone felt an urge to do the same.

“Say that again.”

::The family gestalt. What did you think the power the Aunt held was?::

“It’s our birthright…” Beryl said slowly. “The strength of the family. The power of the lineage.”

::Exactly. The strength of the family. The power of the lineage. It’s a lot more powerful now than it has been in the past. That’s part of the reason - though I bet from what I hear in your voices that most people don’t know this - that they can afford to have so many non-Aunts wandering around doing magic. You. Rosa. I bet everyone does a little more than their ancestors did.::

“Because…” Stone frowned. “We have more power?”

“Because we have more family!” Beryl sat up straighter and grinned, and then just as immediately deflated. “Wait. Wait, though. The family splits. It gets too big, and then it splits.”

::That’s the other sort of power, though. That’s the fact that a mob too big is too hard to steer. Well, and it might burst a weaker Aunt, let’s be honest. That’s a bad thing, someone who can’t hold the power.::

“…but the family splits,” Beryl repeated plaintively, “so how are we more powerful now than we have been?”

::Two reasons. Maybe three. Let’s see if you can figure them out.::

“You sound like Mrs. Tyler,” Stone complained half-heartedly. “Okay, so. Big families. There’s four of us, most of our cousins have two or three in the family, and it spreads like that. So even with splitting, you get bigger families.”

::That’s one.:: It sounded like the necklace approved. Stone still wasn’t sure how he felt about that.

“Oh! Oh, we suck in other powers. I mean, that sounds violent but-” Beryl ducked her head. Stone was pretty sure she was thinking about their dad.

::That is right, yes. What about your Jake? Does he have power?::

“Still figuring that out,” she muttered. “He doesn’t run away screaming, at least.”

::Even if you don’t want to be the Aunt, you might think about what bringing a powered person into the family will do,:: the necklace murmured. ::Think long and hard, dear.::

Want More?

Date: 2017-03-26 10:43 pm (UTC)
lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
From: [personal profile] lilfluff
(Resists the urge to dun-dun-dunnnn by mentioning resisting urge to do it :})

So they both definitely have some thinking to do.

Date: 2017-03-27 01:00 am (UTC)
clare_dragonfly: woman with green feathery wings, text: stories last longer: but only by becoming only stories (Default)
From: [personal profile] clare_dragonfly
Oooh. That explains a lot!

Date: 2017-03-27 10:50 pm (UTC)
clare_dragonfly: woman with green feathery wings, text: stories last longer: but only by becoming only stories (Default)
From: [personal profile] clare_dragonfly
The family being a collector of magic.

Date: 2017-03-27 07:06 pm (UTC)
thnidu: cat staring out at you, photoshopped into wild colors (Pow Wow cat)
From: [personal profile] thnidu

Date: 2017-03-28 08:40 am (UTC)
kelkyag: eye-shaped patterns on birch trunk (birch eyes)
From: [personal profile] kelkyag
They make and collect artifacts, too -- whether that means Zenobia's trinkets, or the charm bracelet handed down to Beryl, or the tarot decks, or Tansy's trapped ghosts, or Joseph, or Radar. Those seem to be more or less stable rather than being soaked back up by the family when they're idle, but they're still available for the family to use. Similarly knowledge of what has been done and how.

*If* the family is willing and able to support more active magicians (and being one does appear to require substantial investment of time and effort beyond just being born with potential), if Rosaria & Eva & Karen & company successfully put an end to the prohibition on teaching boys, in theory there'd be no reason that a Mark, or a Robbie, couldn't marry in and learn to use their power, rather than having it swept up into the gestalt. Or for that matter, someone like Johais, who was already a capable, practicing magician -- though I'm not under the impresion he married into the family, much as he and Ruan appreciated each other's company. But those are big ifs that a lot of people are resisting.

Would Mark ever have learned to do more with his sight if he hadn't married into the family? He might've had more chance than many, being able to spot other people with magical potential, and failed to be lucky enough to find someone else before finding this family with "biggest concentration of sparkle on the Eastern Seaboard" that has no interest in training men, but his intro made it sound more like he was intrigued by sparkle rather than that he was trying to learn about it or do anything with it. The ethics of the situation would feel rather different if they'd met in the library where he was doing magic research and she'd been sent to distract him.

The family is magic-greedy. I'm sure people have been wronged in how they were pulled in or treated afterward. I'm not sure marrying in people with magic is always wrong.

Date: 2017-03-30 09:38 pm (UTC)
kelkyag: notched triangle signature mark in light blue on yellow (Default)
From: [personal profile] kelkyag
Huh. I wonder why this comment not show up in inbox or email.

Radar may think the family is his magic collection rather than the other way 'round, and maybe he's been around long enough for that to be reasonably true (I am reminded of an SF short story about an alien child who followed a human space explorer home, and was raised by him ... and his son ... and his grandson ... and on being located and collected by her own family, insisted on bringing the grandson and his fiancee with them, because she was raising Jon Thomases and didn't want to give up her hobby) ... but they're in the same magic collection either way. :)

Is Joseph family by blood or by marriage? But perhaps he'll tell us when he gets around to storytelling rather than abstracted warnings. But yes, if he didn't volunteer for amulet duty (and I can imagine people who would!), he definitely got the short end of the stick.
Edited Date: 2017-03-30 09:40 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-01 03:51 am (UTC)
sauergeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sauergeek
Zenobia, as I recall, was an enthusiastic maker of artifacts. Was she doing that to store some of the power so that it wouldn't be lost to the family, but also so that it wouldn't be a threat to a weaker Aunt? (As I recall, Eva's immediate predecessor, Asta, was a weaker Aunt.)

Presumably Willard's expulsion from the family cost the family access to his power.

Given the comment about Stone's magic being absorbed if he wasn't trained, does that imply that a person's magic stays around after their death? Or, at very least, the magic that they weren't using might stay around. That has me wondering if magic is less of a force of a person's will than something tangible (if only we could somehow measure it) that can be shifted around or accumulated -- or made -- by a person, but never destroyed.

Date: 2018-01-26 03:36 am (UTC)
eseme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eseme
Ooooo, well that explains a lot. It is interesting though, that the families are getting bigger now - weren't farming families in the seventeen and eighteeen hundreds bigger than families today (with 6 and 7 children, whereas modern ones tend to top out at 3 or 4 on average).

Fascinating stuff, I like learning more.


aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)

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